The biggest struggle most of us have is with ourselves. We get in the way of ourselves with the constant belief that we have to be more than who we are. Our normal human desire is to want to be loved, we want to matter and we want to feel as though we have something to contribute to those around us and to the world. More than anything we want to belong to something bigger than ourselves. We want to aim high and show those around us that we do matter. From a very young age we learn that when we please others and make them happy we are rewarded with love and praise. And it feels good, but we also learn from a very early age to care deeply about what others think of us. We let others words and actions impact how we think about ourselves.
We want to get it right, to get life right, to prove ourselves and to show those around us that who we are is somebody really important. We want to make the people who love us proud, and sometimes we want to prove ourselves to the people that treated us poorly. (‘See I do really matter, you should never have treated me the way you did’). Most often we use the lower energies of EGO to convince ourselves how well/or poorly we are doing. Self-worth comes from money, possessions, achievements, appearances, fame but we can never rid ourselves of the self doubt and the longing for more. We can never eradicate the feeling that we always need to be more than who we really are (no matter how much we have or what we have achieved). What we are looking for is fulfilment but we think it comes from others. We have forgotten it can only come from one place – ourselves.
I too, lived this life. I spent most of my adult life trying to fit in, belong, achieve and caring about what others thought of me. Until I fell apart, and I realised the only way for me to survive would mean letting go of what others thought of me. I would lie in bed imagining the gossip and innuendo that was circulating through my small community. When I felt strong enough to go to the supermarket I saw people that once greeted me with warmth turn their backs on me and pretend they didn’t see me. I saw friends and colleagues living their lives happily and because I could no longer relate to them I saw them drift out of my life permanently. I never knew that the very people and the community that I had lived in for over 20 years could all of a sudden make me feel as though I no longer mattered.
I had to stop caring, and I had to focus for the first time in my life on nothing else but myself. The judgement of others and the fact that many of my friends were not there for me in the way I needed them was too much so I distanced and alienated myself from just about everyone. I had to concentrate on one thing only, surviving each day without taking my own life. The shame of falling and failing was huge, I had no choice but to stop caring about what others thought and I have no doubt that it saved my life.
It took me a long time but eventually I realised that the people that had stuck around (my family and some friends) were the ones who were going to love me unconditionally forever. These were my people and they were loving me at my very worst, there were no expectations, no judgement, no conditions. But I also realised something else, I realised that no matter how many or how few people I had around me there was only one person who’s opinion really mattered- one person that I had to please. That person was me, I was the one that was going to get myself out and I needed to start give myself the support that I expected from others. I knew that at my lowest the only way to get back up was to stop beating myself up, to stop thinking that everyone had deserted me, to stop believing that I was weak, a failure, & would never again fit in with normal life and start telling myself a new story.
My opinion of myself is the only one that matters, because I know the people I have around me love me unconditionally. I know that I don’t have to make them proud, or prove myself, or pick myself back up and show them that I really do matter. I already know that I matter. I survived the hardest thing I have ever had to go through by staying true to who I am, by listening to my intuition, by making choices that were unusual but ones that felt right to me. I started listening to myself and I stopped caring about what others thought. I figured out through three years of suffering that I do matter, that I am important and that I have immense value just as I am, without anything but my self. And I know when I make choices that go against who I am, then I am only letting myself down.
I will never again live my life for others, (that doesn’t mean I don’t care about the people close to me, it simply means that I care for myself first and foremost so that I can care for those around me). I will never again care so deeply about what others think of me- whether they like me or hate me, their opinion has nothing to do with me. I know who I am and I know what I am here to do and I will do nothing else but live with an open heart. I will live as GOD intended me, I will live with LOVE. When I live with love I know those that talk about me, criticise me, try to bring me down have something that needs healing within them. I send them love and strength to heal themselves.